Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA)
The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is the Glasgow’s main exhibition space for contemporary art and is Scotland’s most visited art gallery.
GoMA is a world-class art museum and aims to provide a space where people can gather together to learn and share ideas.
As well as its own collections, the gallery curates and borrows artworks and hosts exhibitions from around the world and from the world’s leading contemporary artists.
GoMA is housed in a neo-Classical Georgian building dating from the late 18th Century. It sits in Royal Exchange Square, between Buchanan Street and Queen Street, on the border between the Merchant City and the City Centre.
The building was originally built for William Cunninghame, one of the tobacco lords, as a luxurious townhouse close to the city centre. It housed the Royal Exchange in the mid 19th Century and was later a library before it became the Gallery of Modern Art in 1996.
When you’re just outside the building, don’t forget to look up. The mirrored pediment above the columns is a work called ‘Tympanum’ by the late monumental sculptress Niki de Saint Phalle.
Inside the building, there are four main galleries, a cafe, a shop and a library.
The gallery has only one permanent exhibition which is about the history of the building. The rest of the galleries are used as temporary exhibition space, and the exhibits are rotated regularly. Inside, the galleries are spacious and well-lit. The large windows and the ability to get completely around the pieces on display really let you appreciate the artwork as the artist intended.
The programme has an ever-changing kaleidoscope of local and international artists and themed events. It is designed to be challenging, thought-provoking and entertaining. There is also a dedicated education studio which provides a wide range of workshops including artists talks, hands-on events for adults and young people and film screenings.
Head down the stairs and you’ll find yourself in the Library @ GoMA. It is part of the Glasgow Libraries Network and has free internet access terminals and book lending facilities.
This level also has the gallery’s cafe and a VisitScotland tourist information centre.
Just outside GoMA, you’ll find the Glasgow’s famous statue of the Duke of Wellington which, despite the Council’s best efforts, can usually be seen sporting a traffic cone. This is the one that you’ll find on the covers of guidebooks and in collections of Glasgow photographs.